In a bid to sanitize the petroleum downstream industry, the National Petroleum Authority has since August this year begun the implementation of new export guidelines to clamp down on fuel smuggling in the country.

Addressing participants at the ongoing Oil Trading and Logistics Downstream Week in Lagos, Nigeria, Chief Executive Officer of NPA, Alhassan Tampuli said export companies were now required to provide records of the import permit of foreign company for verification.“Now you are required to send us the importer on record and we will confirm from those companies in Niger, Mali, and Burkina Faso whether those companies are licensed,” he announcedMr Tampuli said companies would have to add a copy of the contract they have with the foreign importer and also attach a list of foreign trucks to be used in order to apply for a ‘no objection’ letter from NPA.

In addition to those rules, he said, export companies would now have to post a performance bond of 150 per cent of the total product and Bulk Road Vehicles would be allowed to export three times a week where the Authority will provide escort till the product leaves the shores of the country. Enumerating on the successes so far, the Chief Executive said since the implementation of the new guidelines, exports to Mali has considerably reduced. “The reverse is that, the Ghana Revenue Authority is recording increased revenue from exportation of petroleum products.” He noted this was due to the fact that the retail stations were compelled to buy from oil marketing companies “which has adversely shot up the volumes consumed in the country.”

Touching base on the recently confiscated 15 trucks, he said despite NPA’s inability to sue the offenders, they were collaborating with CEPS to get them behind bars. “By virtue of NPA’s Act (Act 691) we are not able to use our law to sue them. So we are partnering with Custom Excise and Preventive Service in Ghana to use their law to confiscate all these 15 trucks and we are about to put them on auction. “When we are done, we will revoke the licenses of all these exporters and we will ban all their Directors from actively participating in the downstream petroleum industry. That is the way we think will bring sanity to the industry in Ghana,” he stressed. Present at the exhibition were Deputy Minister of Energy, Mohammed Amin Adam; CEO of Chamber of Bulk Oil Distributors, Senyo Hosi, Chairman of the Association of Oil Marketing, Johnny Blagogee and CEO of the Association of Oil Marketing Companies, Mr Kweku Agyemang Duah.